How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

1-2 hours

Limited yard space? You can still have colorful flowers or tasty edibles with a raised bed

Raised Garden Bed

Raised beds are a great cure-all for many types of soil or landscaping problems. You can build them on flat or sloped ground, or even right on top of concrete. They can be sized and shaped to meet your exact needs and you can fill them with topsoil and compost purchased from your local Home Depot, or soil found on your property. This guide will teach you the basic steps for creating a rectangular raised bed with wooden sides.

Tip: Any wood you use to build this garden bed should be naturally rot-resistant (cedar, redwood and others) or should be pressure-treated to prevent decay.


Fasten the lumber pieces
Fasten the lumber pieces - Build Raised Garden Bed

Cut wood to the desired lengths of your bed then screw or nail together pieces of rot-resistant lumber. Use galvanized nails or screws. Nails are easier and faster, but screws are stronger and longer-lasting.

Tip: Modern pressure-treated lumber utilizing MCQ or MCA technology will not leach harmful chemicals and is considered safe for use around edibles. Alternatively, you can line the inside of the bed with pond liner to maintain a separation between the wood and soil.

Dig a trench
Dig a trench - Build Raised Garden Bed

• Dig a trench 1 to 2 inches deep where you want the raised bed to rest.
• Position the frame on the trench and make it level by adding soil or digging out more.

Loosen the soil
Loosen the soil - Build Raised Garden Bed

• Loosen the soil in the area you’re building the raised bed to a depth of 6 to 12 inches, working in soil amendments as needed.
• There’s no need to remove turf (except for Bermuda grass) or most small weeds; they’ll break down and feed the soil.

Add topsoil and plants
Add topsoil plants - Build Raised Garden Bed

• Fill the raised bed with high-quality topsoil or premium garden soils that contain additional organic matter and nutrients to provide a more suitable environment for optimum plant growth.
• Rake the soil smooth.  
• Add plants and flowers.

Add mulch
Add mulch - Build Raised Garden Bed

Add a layer of mulch to suppress weeds, conserve moisture and prevent many soil-borne diseases. Suitable mulches are pine needles, bark or other organic material.